Update on Classroom Technology

St. Anthony of Padua School iPad Program

At St. Anthony of Padua school, our technology goals are to increase technology integration in the classroom, move students above and beyond basic concepts and use technology to help students embrace communication, collaboration, critical thinking and creativity.

St. Anthony’s Responsibility is to provide devices, network, internet access and filtering, to promote digital citizenship (through safe and appropriate use), to monitor and inspect activity, and to prohibit device and network use as we see fit.

During the 2012 Fall semester, St. Anthony of Padua School implemented an entire class set of iPads in grades K-2, as well as an Apple “cart,” which worked to synchronize and coordinate the activities of those iPads.

Our teachers use iPads daily as a supplemental tool for instruction in all subject areas, which helps them differentiate instruction. They also use iPads to teach communication, collaboration, critical thinking and creativity. It is never used to replace instruction, as a time-filler, or to replace everyday activities.

Now, as we enter the 2015-2016 school year, each teacher in grades K-8 has an iPad, a classroom projector, as well as a Macbook Air laptop (which was purchased through a $20,000 grant that we were awarded last school year). This top of the line technology allows our teacher to supplement their lesson plans with many great multimedia educational applications.

This summer we are also proud to say that we have continued with our technology plan by updating our PC computer lab in order to ensure a balanced working knowledge of both major computer operating systems. We have an additional 20 PC computers for the students in our learning lab, to help supplement the teaching that is happening in classrooms, but also helps in teaching our children basic presentation and keyboarding skills that are essential in the real world.

We are excited to continue our successful “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD) policy. Students in grades 3 through 8 must have an iPad as one of their school supplies.

This is a huge step in the future vision of St. Anthony’s and in developing 21st century learners that will remain on the cutting edge of a rapidly changing world. It aids our children in learning and helps them to become a good digital citizen.

However, it is always important to remember a couple of things in light of these changes.

This sort of integration of technology into classrooms is extremely new and there are a lot of “hiccups” that are inevitable. All educators are extremely comfortable with textbooks, notebooks, and pencils, but few are taking large steps in revolutionizing the education process. Our teachers at St. Anthony’s are on board with becoming revolutionaries with this change in education and creating a learning community to remain at the top of what we do best – teach.

No device can ever replace a good teacher. I’m proud of the variety of gifts, talents, and techniques that our teachers employ. However, I’m most proud and thankful for the amount of “heart” that goes in to the very serious work they do.

Angela Grey, Principal

 

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